DVD Night: Life Above All

Just after the death of her newly-born sister, Chanda, 12 years old, learns of a rumor that spreads like wildfire through her small, dust-ridden village near Johannesburg. It destroys her family and forces her mother to flee. Sensing that the gossip stems from prejudice and superstition, Chanda leaves home and school in search of her mother and the truth. Life, Above All is an emotional and universal drama about a young girl (stunningly performed by first-time-actress Khomotso Manyaka) who fights the fear and shame that have poisoned her community. The film captures the enduring strength of loyalty and a courage powered by the heart. Directed by South African filmmaker Oliver Schmitz (Mapantsula), it is based on the international award winning novel Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton. 

Reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

Let's do this as an after-dinner thing. I'll have sodas and if you feel like bringing snacks or drinks to share then that's great. But there's always too much so don't feel any pressure.

Since I only have so much space I'm limiting the signups to 14, so please treat your RSVP as a commitment. 

I look forward to seeing you!

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  • Louise H.

    I am SO sorry I didn't get to see this film. I'm curious, everyone who did, about the ending: I read several reviews that felt it had a contrived forced feeling about it -- that even though it was happy, it didn't seem to flow naturally from what went before. Any comments?

    March 30, 2014

  • Mary C.

    It was really good to see the movie and to be able to discuss it! Thanks for hosting Mark. Zahra brought up the issue of hemp. The documentary that came out last year on this topic is called Bringing It Home. It has won many awards. I am looking into how we can see it!

    2 · March 30, 2014

  • Kathy

    It was great, Mark to have you bring this film to the group's attention. I had read reviews a couple years back about the book for young readers and from what I can tell they did a credible job of "bringing the story to life" onscreen. The narrative had universal appeal and was a moving illustration of how young people are often the best hope for the future. How the heroine overcame prevalent ignorance, confronted facts and yet transcended the shame that those she cared about were feeling was a brave decision and positively influenced others. A hopeful ending amidst a grim tale.

    I felt the casting was compelling and gave the film a documentary like tone. Wish this type of film was seen and discussed by more American youth to inspire them to feel common international kinship and work to make the world a better place.

    1 · March 30, 2014

    • Mark F.

      Interesting - I didn't know about the source of the story. Sounds like a valuable book.

      March 30, 2014

  • Zahra

    Thank you Mark for hosting this film that was so very moving, (box of tissues! Haha!). I am always learning more about life in South Africa; very instructive and sad about the ongoing resistance to education and widespread superstitions about health matters. Even tho' tragic, the 'happy' ending gave hope, implying a gradual awakening for at least this small village; LOVE triumphs! Now let's hear it for honesty, and reason...

    1 · March 30, 2014

  • Polly

    I am so sorry but I was on wait list and decided to make other plans for tonight. I really wish I could attend but must pass. Thank you.

    March 29, 2014

    • Mark F.

      Sorry, my mistake. Hope your other plans are great!

      1 · March 29, 2014

    • Polly

      Hi Mark - not a mistake! I was on the waitlist but made plans yesterday afternoon for something else tonight....I just didn't wait long enough! :-) Thank you

      March 30, 2014

  • John L.

    Sorry to miss this, but an earlier engagement rang longer than expected.

    March 29, 2014

  • Cheryl in C.

    I'm sorry also..I was on the waiting list yesterday but then friend called to propose seeing Grand Budapest and I said yes. At least I will also be watching a movie! I'll try to sign up sooner next time.

    March 29, 2014

  • Mark F.

    I'm going to send out the directions again this evening, but if anyone runs into any problems you can call me at[masked]

    March 28, 2014

  • Gabor

    Thanks a lot Mark for the heads-up, but I will be OOT on the 29th. Enjoy!

    March 20, 2014

  • Alli

    I would like to come, but am going to see Enemy on the 29th. I'll have to pick up a copy of this on dvd sometime. Sorry to miss it.

    March 15, 2014

  • Mark F.

    Bad news -- I'm fighting a cold right now and fear I might have to postpone the event. I'll make a decision in the next few hours, but I wanted to give people a heads-up if you were checking your email frequently.

    So sorry about this...

    March 14, 2014

    • Miri

      Sorry to hear you're not up to par Mark. By all means if you need to postpone, do so. We can do it soon, another time. Get well.

      1 · March 14, 2014

    • Miri

      Unfortunately, there is an alternate Indie Meetup scheduled that same night for "Enemy"- eeek. So, with regret, will not be able to join you on the 29th. But enjoy it anyway. :-)

      March 15, 2014

  • Eunice

    Mark,
    I'm not going to make it on the 29th. But you have a waiting list! so that should work out. Have fun and feel better.

    March 15, 2014

  • David Y

    Thanks for including me. However, my schedule for March 29th is a bit uncertain at the moment, since I know that I will be out of town in Western NC for part of that weekend, but perhaps only for Friday night and part of Saturday. I'll know more specifics about my schedule by later this coming week, and will indicate as soon as I know whether I can attend the showing of "Life Above All."

    March 15, 2014

  • joya

    Hope you are beginning to feel better Mark~ I will not be able to make seeing the film on the 29th...I hope to see you all another time! Happy Spring!

    1 · March 15, 2014

    • Louise H.

      We'll miss you, Joya.

      1 · March 15, 2014

    • Susan

      I miss you already Joya. Haven't seen you lately!

      1 · March 15, 2014

  • Mary C.

    Hope you feel better soon! The new date is better for me! I have a friends art opening to go to. See you on the 29th. Mark, I don't have your address.

    March 14, 2014

  • Mark F.

    I guess that request to get in touch isn't really necessary or helpful, sorry. Please just do change your rsvp if you can't make the rescheduled time.

    1 · March 14, 2014

  • Alli

    Sorry to hear you're not feeling well.

    March 14, 2014

  • Maggie

    I got the message that you're rescheduling, Mark. I hope you feel better soon!

    March 14, 2014

  • Susan

    Yes, agreed. Drink plenty of fluids, and rest (-:

    1 · March 14, 2014

  • joya

    Take good care of yourself Mark.... we all support and understand if you reschedule~

    March 14, 2014

  • Louise H.

    As Miri wrote, Mark, we can certainly reschedule. These endless nasty colds seem to be making the rounds. Hope yours is brief!

    March 14, 2014

  • Eunice

    OK. Sorry. Will wait to hear from you.

    March 14, 2014

  • Zahra

    Feel better, soon! <3

    March 14, 2014

  • Miri

    Would love to bring along something light to snack on so any suggestions or requests would be welcome- wine/cheese/dip/ you name it- would enjoy hearing from you. :-) Thx Mark for opening up your home.

    March 14, 2014

  • Mark F.

    Just to let everyone know, I've sent out the directions. I'll send them again Saturday morning. Also, if you have just discovered you can't make it, *please* change your RSVP so others will know they can. Thanks!

    March 13, 2014

  • Louise H.

    Hi, Mark, can you send reminder directions to your place? Thanks!

    1 · March 13, 2014

  • joya

    Has the directions been posted yet?

    1 · March 13, 2014

  • joya

    May I bring a friend...we would be happy to bring a pillow and sit on the floor....

    March 12, 2014

  • Eunice

    Totally looking forward to this!

    March 9, 2014

  • John L.

    Mark's a generous host and the movie sounds very good, but I've already made plans for Saturday. Grrrr.

    March 9, 2014

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